NNSA 'in the market' for environmental stewardship

Sept. 25, 2012

Fresh@ the Labs -- a Farmers Market collaboration (joint award with Sandia/CA), was awarded Tuesday.  For more photos of group awards, see below. Photos by Jacqueline McBride/PAO (Download Image)

NNSA 'in the market' for environmental stewardship

Linda A Lucchetti, lucchetti1@llnl.gov, 925-422-5815
This month's Farmers Market, with the theme "Eat local, think sustainable," became the fitting backdrop for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) to recognize Lab and Sandia employees for award-winning environmental stewardship projects.

Karin King, environmental engineer in the Laboratory Site Office (LSO), welcomed award recipients to the ninth year of NNSA's pollution prevention awards. She explained that this year there were 40 nominations in 10 categories. NNSA awarded 12 nominations to receive "Best in Class" awards and 12 Environmental Stewardship awards out of a total of 40 nominations submitted in 10 award categories.

About the joint collaborative efforts of the Lab and Sandia, Phil Hill, technical deputy in LSO, said the awards demonstrate leadership across the site -- a leadership "that NNSA relies on," as well as leading by example.

The projects receiving awards include:

Hydrogen shuttle bus collaborative project (joint award with Sandia/CA) ( see group photo )

In FY11, LLNL and Sandia (SNL/CA) collaborated on a Department of Energy (DOE) supported program to demonstrate the use of hydrogen-powered vehicles.

This program was administered by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's Fuel Cell Technologies Program, and supported the early market adoption of these technologies. Two hydrogen buses, one a 12-passenger and a second 8-passenger with wheel chair capability, were integrated into the LLNL taxi fleet used to transport employees at both the LLNL and SNL/CA laboratories.

In addition to use as employee shuttles on and off campus, the buses also were showcased throughout the local community to help raise public awareness of the benefits and safety of hydrogen technologies.

The hydrogen buses reduced the use of traditional diesel-powered buses onsite and were among the most heavily used in the DOE bus demonstration program, logging a combined 7,561 miles.

This translated into a savings of approximately 8,000 kg of carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) equivalent greenhouse gas emissions in comparison to diesel-powered buses. These vehicles achieve near-zero regulated emissions (below Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle regulations for oxides of nitrogen) and no CO 2 emissions.

Innovative green cleaning at NIF ( see photo )

LLNL's National Ignition Facility (NIF) -- home to the world's largest laser -- houses 192 precision aligned laser beams in two bays under tight, environmentally controlled conditions. Extreme cleanliness is required as any bit of debris, oil or other wayward material could cause the laser light to damage the optics.

The NIF Class 10000 clean room environment maintained throughout the facility is the same level of cleanliness you might find in a hospital operating theatre, permitting no more than 10,000 particles larger than 0.5 microns per cubic foot of air. Custodial operations in this huge environment require a talented and innovative crew. Leading that crew is Dexter Lenoir, who has made significant changes in both cleaning products and methods, which have resulted in improved worker health and safety as well as reduced environmental impacts from custodial operations.

High Performance Computing Innovation Center (LLNL) -- 'Best in Class' award in the Integrative Planning and Design category ( see group photo )

The LLNL High Performance Computing Innovation Center (HPCIC) serves as an example of program and facility development with a focus on environmental stewardship.

This facility is one of the first in the Livermore Valley Open Campus (LVOC) area, where researchers are active within a wide range of science domains including climate modeling and computational energy. Consistent with programmatic goals, the facility was designed with the environment in mind.

Site design includes the first permeable pavement used at LLNL, and native vegetation to limit water consumption. The facility itself was constructed from refurbished trailers at a cost savings of $200,000 and a waste generation avoidance of 85 tons. Finally, the trailers were oriented to reduce heat build-up during long summer days and to share use of existing curb cuts and roadway.

Fresh@ the Labs -- a Farmers Market collaboration (joint award with Sandia/CA) ( see group photo )

People worldwide are rediscovering the many benefits of buying local food. Lawrence Livermore and Sandia national laboratories partnered to bring these benefits directly to the laboratory communities with Fresh @ the Labs, a Farmers Market program.

The Farmers Market, held on the fourth Tuesday of the month from July 2011 through October 2011, was a highly successful partnership between the two labs that promoted community collaboration, employee health, a life convenience and environmental sustainability.

The LLNL and SNL/CA pilot saw more than 2,000 attendees interacting with 20 Bay Area vendors to purchase fresh and local fruits and vegetables, nuts and grains, flowers, eco bags and more. Adding to the festive experience were gourmet lunch vendors, cooking demonstrations and live music.

Both Lab Director Parney Albright and Sandia Director Richard Stulen spoke at the close of the event, acknowledging the positive partnership between both laboratories.

For a complete list of all the 2012 NNSA Environmental Award winners, click here .